We are each designed for a unique and divine purpose. Live yours!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lord Prepare Me To Be A Sanctuary

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving,
I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You

It is you, Lord
Who came to save
The heart and soul
Of every man
It is you Lord
who knows my weakness
Who gives me strength,
With thine own hand.

Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and Holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving,
I'll be a living
Sanctuary for you

Lead Me on Lord
From temptation
Purify me
From within
Fill my heart with
Your holy
Take away all my sin

Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving,
I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You
(John Thompson, Randy Scruggs)

I woke up with the words to this song running through my mind. I devoted my prayer time to singing this song over and over. God revealed several very powerful words that I am compelled to share. I am sure the words were meant for me and apply to my own life and yet I know that so often others are touched when we share God's word.

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

I thought about how man can distort and disrupt God's word and His plan for His people so easily. We can be wooed by Satan because He is so wily and has had thousands of years to perfect his techniques. Because He was once with God in heaven he had intimate access to our phyches. That is how he knows when we are at our weakest, our most vulnerable; when we are the easiest to lure away from the Truth.

dictionary.com variably defines Sanctuary: a sacred or holy place; a church or other sacred place where fugitives were formerly entitled to immunity from arrest; a house consecrated to the worship of God; a place where divine service is performed; The most retired part of the temple at Jerusalem, called the Holy of Holies, in which was kept the ark of the covenant, and into which no person was permitted to enter except the high priest, and he only once a year, to intercede for the people.

The type of sanctuary the song refers to, I believe is the one that is defined: the Holy of Holies. This place within the structure of the sanctuary was so holy that only a select few - the holiest of the ordained - were allowed access to it. That's the place where God dwells. Because of Christ we now not only have access to the intimate most sacred part of God, we have the privilege of creating a space within us where God dwells.

Actually the space already exists. The problem is that sometimes we fill that "God-shaped" space up with other things--wordly things. We yield to Satan's lure and begin to believe the lies of the world. We choose to take the 'easy' way, the immediate way, to fill up that space. Before long, we forget how it feels to have that sacred space filled up with the light and love of God.

The triune God consists of the Holy Spirit as well. This is the part of God that intercedes for us. The original idea was that the people were so unclean and sin-filled that they were not worthy to be in the presence of God, so someone who was ritually (and hopefully spirtually) clean interceded for all of mankind. That person (or perhaps several persons) were the only ones worthy/clean/pure enough to approach God's presence.
Christ changed all that and through His death and resurrection, afforded us access to God in a way never even conceived of before by man!

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, 'Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, O God.' "First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:5-10)

This scripture does not mean God doesn't want sacrifice! It shares with us the type of sacrifice God wants and desires. Christ showed us what absolute obedience looks like! How then can we say we don't know what Go wants from us? How then can we pretend not to understand the kind of life God desires us to live? How then can we believe that living "of the world" is acceptable?

We were conceived as sacred and holy. That is God's vision for us. That is how He thought of us at the beginning of time when He decided we would become His most beloved creations. Just as God prepared a body for Jesus, He prepared one for each of us. Are we caring for this gift God gave to us? Are we using it to honor Him in every way?

How are we to know the direction for our lives? By calling out to God as Christ did:
"Here I am, I have come to do your will." Jesus became the great high priest for us. Through Him we are all allowed access to God's divine will and plan for our lives. The Holy Spirit is what feeds and nourishes that plan and helps us to stay in line with God's will. The Spirit is who helps us fend off Satan and his influences in our lives.

For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15)

Sometimes it is just too much for me to grasp that God would use me for His purpose on the earth. I often have trouble wrapping my head around being so loved and valued that God would desire an intimate and loving relationship with me. I am always in awe of His grace--which is extended to all of us; lost, sin-filled and broken. It is just too much to bear that honor sometimes. It is too lofty for me to grasp.

But God remind us: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:7-9 NIV)

We are all called to divine service. God sent His Son to show us how and sent the Spirit to help keep us on track and guard us from sin's influence. I cannot imagine a more grace-filled, loving and generous gift.


Laurie said...

Okay Mary so I do now see where to comment. (I did not originally.) I emailed you my comments. A good "meaty" post there sister, full of insight!

Laurie said...
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Laurie said...
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Connie Arnold said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful post, Mary, filled with the reminders of what Jesus has done for us, what a wonderful gift we have received!

Edie said...

I love that song! What a priveledge to be the sanctuary that houses the Holy Spirit.

Beautiful post Mary!

RCUBEs said...

What a beautiful perspective on the word "sanctuary"! I'm sure this post touches a lot of hearts, like mine. May the Lord continue to speak through your writing. Beautiful lyrics! Thanks for sharing. God bless.

Andrea said...

My favorite song...i use to sing it to my boys as they were growing up. Awesome, GOD-inspired post..again!